STLT#161, Peace! The Perfect Word

Remember when I was eyeballs deep in those aspirational hymns in the In Time To Come section? And how wearing, given our current political crisis, I found them?

Yeah. Here we are again. I am worn out by these hymns, barreling down, calling us over and over and over again to remain hopeful and energized. I am feeling quite unhopeful and exhausted right now. And may I say, Dear Spiritual Practice, I don’t need you reminding me of what I know already.


I also know that what I am doing is not normal, and we don’t just sing through the hymnal like this. My experience is not a typical experience.

For people approaching this hymn in a typical manner, flipping through hymns known and unknown seeking a couple of songs of inspiration and vision, this one will certainly fit the bill. Odell Shepard’s lyrics remind us of our aspirations and calls us to remember what it’s all about. (Plus, the tune’s a familiar one from the Southern Harmony collection.)

Peace! The perfect word is sounding, like a universal hymn
under oceans, over mountains, to the world’s remotest rim.

Toiling centuries have struggled upward on a stony way
just to set the torch of freedom where it flames aloft today.

All the old forlorn lost causes, every fair forbidden dream,
and the prophet’s hopeless vision, and the poet’s fitting gleam,

All the hopes of subject peoples, all the dreams of the oppressed,
must be ours, our hopes, our visions. We can never stay or rest.

Good, solid lyrics, hopeful, aspirational. The right hymn, I am sure, for many occasions, which could be well paired with any of the other Peace or In Time to Come or even Freedom songs.

Just don’t try to sing them all, all at once.

The picture? Oh, that’s a peace plant. 🙂

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